A view on the Global Art Market and more specifically the Latin American one

Trends in the Latin American art market:

For more or less 5-10 years, there indeed has been an unprecedented development of the South American market. We often talk about China and the Middle East as centers of artistic concentration, following their strong economic development. But we must now reckon with another region of the world: Latin America.

Brazil, world’s sixth largest economy, is booming: collectors are increasingly numerous, the artists’ values on the art market explode, more and more young artists get out of anonymity worn by stupendous curators, galleries, officials, institutions. These regularly collaborate together to create a fruitful dialogue between artists and the major art events.

For example, two of the most important curators of Brazil presented shows during two major artistic events in Brazil:

– Rodrigo Moura, director of Inhotim, the most important private art foundation in Latin America, which spans a 1,200-acre park, curated a solo show at the SP-Arte Fair 2014, the contemporary fair of São Paulo.

– Andriano Pedrosa, the artistic director of the Art Museum of São Paulo and member of the selection committee of the Frieze NY 2015 new section, Spotlight, organized the exhibition Artevida  in Rio de Janeiro in 2014.

The rest of the Latin American countries are also very promising.

There are still treasures to discover, fantastic artists to promote, market to conquer.

Architects Foster and Rogers has been comissionned for several projects in Bogota such as a cultural center for exemple.

The art scene is bubbling, one feels that the next few years something extraordinary is going to grow.

The mutation is certain.

The latin american collectors:

The development of the South American art market is actually noticed by the strong enthusiasm aroused among collectors throughout the major South American art fairs and biennials. Not only SP-Arte and  Art Rio but also the Biennial of São Paulo and the Artbo (Bogota) for instance. ArtLima, the Contemporary Art Fair of Peru, is also worth noticing.

Indeed, in Peru, but also in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, we feels collectors are not only interested in the work of South American artists but also in artists from other parts of the world. They show a curiosity that’s increasing years after years, a taste that sharpens over trips they make to other major international fairs. Indeed, they are the same collectors as the ones we can encounter in Miami, and who play such a key role when the US and European markets are cautious.

These increasingly wealthy collectors are also the ones who compensate the deficiency of cultural offerings in their own country, by creating foundations when museums have no budget.

To give a few exemples :

Airton José Vidal Queiroz, the current president of the private eponym university of Fortalezza in Brazil, has created a cultural space where free art exhibitions are held throughout the year. Thanks to its cultural space, the knowledge of art, history and culture of different countries has been democratized.

The collection is around 10 000 pieces of Art, 3000 of which being exhibited in the univesity, showing artists such as Tarsila de Amaral, Beatriz Milhazes. But you can also admire some pieces from the 17th century such as Frans Post, or older such as Master Ekhart for instance…

Eugenio López Alonso Fone in 2013,  created the Jumex Museum, in central Mexico City, to accommodate his art collection.

The MISOL Foundation in Bogota, has been founded by Solita Mishaan, to promote Colombian artists but also from other South American regions.

With the economic development of Brazil, a new social class emerged, a type of buyer, showing an exponential purchasing power. They are curious, attached to their mainland artists, but not only. This type of collectors asks to be informed, guided … They are literary in demand, attentive, with an incredible desire to learn. That is why this is so interesting to create a dialogue between the European artists and Brazil.

Collectors around the world come to visit the european galleries but it is true that a network of South American buyers has been developed. They also like to see all the promotional work that we do to bring to an upper level the artists of their own countries.

And it also works the other way

Indeed, the development of this new social class is accompanied by a worldwide deployment of young South American artists, and that also cast a light to even more established artists.

These are two related phenomena.

Reaction from worldwide collectors on Latin American art:

One senses an increasing interest from collectors worldwide. They are seduced by this ancestral land long forgotten by Western collectors, where the contemporary art market has been a niche for a long time.

It is also a culture similar to the european one, quick to seduce by its promises and its novelty and to reassure by it strong connection with the Western Culture. The affinity echoes the kinship.

And indeed, the South American art acquired a significant part in international collections. Prices rose impressively during the last 4 years. The south american artists’ value on the art market leapt in recent years, this bounce was more important than expected. And there’s a safe bet that this surge will go on.

Global art market trends:

Of course, Internet has changed the way buyers collect.

Now, networks of Art supply and demand are global, and you can compare how the offer is made in one place to another. This market extent was accompanied by a democratization of the type of buyers and provided an opportunity for small collectors to discover many artists and galleries more easily. This span also gave artists an opportunity to be spotted by galleries and institutions.

But this increased volume of art offered through internet is not without risks. There is more uncertainty as far as the authenticity of a work of art is concerned, and an increased risk of buying counterfeit or stolen works. Buyers need to pay a particular attention.

Moreover, the burst generated by this freedom of information flow is still and always limited by erratic taxes from one country to the other. For example, while the importation taxes for art are 5% in France, they can reach over 40% in some states of Brazil!

Furthermore, we have began to see changes in the fact that, as I said before, public institutions are less and less able to propose a renewal of the cultural offer, budget cuts being what they are. Little by little we observe a replacement of public cultural institutions by foundations created by private collectors showing the artists they supports, the current they are interested in. Maybe in the future, small public museums will tend to disappear in favor of these foundations …..

And relatively speaking, it is a network of collectors that will define the new cultural world map… It’s a real change.


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